MCG – The Year in Review
I can't believe it's time for 3ds Max 2017 already! It’s been an exciting year for the MCG team. The first release of the Max Creation Graph in April of last year a very positive reception from the 3ds Max user base, and over the year many people have created some pretty impressive tools.
What’s New in MCG in 3ds Max 2017
Most of what is new in MCG in 3ds Max 2017 is the cumulative result of the previous work we released to Subscription customers via the two Extension releases. One feature only in 3ds Max 2017 worth calling are two new random number operators: RandInt and RandFloat. These are fast stateless random number generators that can be used safely from within a ParallelMap or ParallelCombine, to generate consistent random numbers. Thanks to Robert Bridson from the Bifrost team for his help with that!
When we first released MCG we only provided supported for Geometry, Modifier, and MAXScript utility plug-ins. 3ds Max 2017 supports produce animation controllers and spline primitive objects. We have also started to "eat our own dogfood" and now ship several tools with 3ds Max developed with MCG including some animation controllers, CFD visualization tools, and a sample "donut" spline object. These are not intended as tutorials, but if you are interested in looking under the hood you can find the new MCG tools under
Along with the new plug-in types several new parameter types have been added: Node Array, Single (floating point) Array, Vector3, Color, Asset, String, and a Signal. These enable you to create more varied UI for your tools without having to resort to MAXScript. Several new operators were also added to MCG, including the ability create Bullet Physics simulations, reading and writing of OpenVDB files, and several operators for working with Spline objects.
We will be posting a more detailed technical document about the new features in MCG for 3ds Max 2017 on The Max Creation Graph Blog in the next few days, so stay posted.
MCG Tools on CreativeMarket.com
One noteworthy development for 3D artists this year was when CreativeMarket.com announced support for artists to buy and sell 3D assets. Among the many different kinds of 3ds Max resources on CreativeMarket.com we are also seeing MCG tools starting to appear as well.
MCG Group on Facebook
In my opinion, one of the most important developments for MCG this year, was the creation of the MCG Facebook group, started less than a year ago, has now grown to over 6500 members, and is actively monitored by the MCG team. This is now *the* place to go to share MCG tools and techniques, and to ask questions from the pool of experts. In the file section of the page, you can find several MCG tools posted by our members.
MCG Tools on ScriptSpot
The popular scripting resource, ScriptSpot.com, now has a section dedicated just to MCG tools which by my last count had over 85 tools. Some of the most popular tools based on the votes on ScriptSpot (as of April 18th) are:
1. Voluminance MCG by Jonathan de Blok
2. MCG 32BitPatternMaker by Vusta
3. MCG Rings by Vusta
4. BUR_SpinScatter by Bathyscaph
5. Vu_mcgRope by Vusta
6. Brick Wall Builder by Alaa alnahlawi
7. SphereClone by Ariel_G
I want to thank everyone on the MCG Facebook page for their generous feedback, contributions, and encouragement. You are really helping guide us down an exciting journey that has only just begun. Everyone who has created a tool, given up in frustration, or even felt too overwhelmed to even try: we hear you and we will continue to work hard to respond to your needs.
I also want to thank everyone on the 3ds Max team for their hard work in helping to make MCG what it is today, for providing an amazing tool to build on, and for participating in a vision for what we can do for our users now and in the future.
I want to give a special call out to a couple people who really stood out this year for their contributions to the MCG year.
Vu Nguyen aka Vusta aka Vustarama
Vu has become the most prolific creator of MCG tools. He created over 60 of the tools on ScriptSpot.com and has been a huge part of the Facebook group success, helping answer countless questions. To be inspired check out some of Vu's creations check out the following:
Jean-Thierry Roy: the MCG team QA
A relative recent addition to the 3ds Max team this year was our QA specialist Jean-Thierry Roy. JT is very active on the Autodesk Forums and the MCG Facebook page responding to questions, and tracking defects. JT has also embarked on a number of interesting adventures with MCG that he has been documenting on YouTube and posting on the MCG Facebook group (in the files section). One tool JT created that really stood out for me was a general Physics simulation tool called Bullet World. This tool enables you to select multiple objects in a scene that will interact together in a physics simulation.
Martin Ashton: aka MCG Martin
Martin Ashton (who goes by “MCG Martin” on Facebook) is the man behind the Max Creation Graph Blog this year. If you haven't seen his blog yet, you should. Martin has a real flair for creating top notch tutorials in a form that are clear, accurate, helpful, inspiring, and fun!